Starting a business is a complicated endeavor that involves more than hanging a sign with the name of the business on a building and a bright neon "open" sign on the door. College courses can get a potential business owner started on the right track. Learn as much as possible about technology, business law, business finance and advertising. Don't be afraid to step out of the box and ask questions of local business owners and the local chamber of commerce. The U.S. Small Business Administration's website is another available resource. The exact courses to take will depend on the size of the prospective business and the student's previous knowledge.


Accounting covers the basics of finances for businesses. The student learns about credits, debits, revenue recognition, expenses and equity. Several courses fall under the accounting label, and it's really up to you how far you want to go. Many colleges cover accounting in two to four courses with separate courses on auditing, taxes and accounting systems. The basic accounting courses help you get the most out the business finance course.

Business Finance

Usually under the business administration section of a college's course list, business finance focuses on preparing the potential business owner to manage a business's fiances. It covers basic concepts such as managing cash flow, creating statements and project projections.

Business Law

Business law courses focus on laws and regulations that affect businesses. The course addresses history, ethics, public policy, social responsibility, diversity and economics. Depending on the college, one of more courses may be available in business law.

Business Communication

This course develops written and oral communication. Students learn how word choice and audiences affect the message. The course typically covers communication theory, technology, job applications and speeches.

Business Management

Business management covers aspects of leading, planning, organizing and handling long-term and short-term goals of a business.

Technology Course(s)

Technology is a part of every business in some form or another. Students should learn about the different software they will encounter. Word processing, accounting and the Internet are just the basics of what a potential business owner needs to know. Some forms of communication and advertising include Facebook, websites and Twitter.


A business won't survive without advertising. Learning about the different methods will help the potential business owner to pinpoint the most effective methods for the type of business. It also gives students a firm background that can later help them take advantage of new forms of marketing.

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